Japan PM Suga has eye on politics with two-week Covid-19 emergency extension

Mr Suga expanded the number of prefectures under the emergency to 13, and put another 16 under lighter "quasi-emergency" measures.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga gave a frank assessment of his political vulnerability on Tuesday (Aug 17) when he said he did not have many options to call a general election before a party vote to choose a leader takes place at the end of next month.

By declaring a two-week extension to the expiry of an ongoing emergency, from Aug 31 to Sept 12, Mr Suga has made a "last-ditch attempt" to avoid going into that pivotal vote with a weak mandate, said political analysts.

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